Moscato

Thought to be one of the oldest grape varietals, with a distinct perfumed aroma, Moscato can be made into a dry wine, an off-dry wine and a sweet dessert wine as well as a sparkling wine with different degrees of sweetness. A young Moscato has aromas of rose petals spiked with orange blossoms and perhaps a touch of orange zest, while an aged Moscato will turn dark with oxidative changes and develop aromas and flavors of figs, blackberries, coffee, prunes and nuts. Most Moscatos are made with residual sweetness to offset the flowery aromas and tastes. 

Moscato d'Asti is a sparkling white wine produced mainly in the province of Asti, northwest Italy, and in smaller nearby regions in the provinces of Alessandria and Cuneo. Like its fellow Moscato-based wine, Asti Spumante, it must be made from 100% Moscato Bianco; however, Moscato d'Asti is made as a semi-sparkling frizzante as opposed to a foaming spumante, and it is also sweeter and lower in alcohol, typically 4.5 to 7% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Moscato d'Asti is characterized by its freshness, elegant floral aromas and delicate flavors of peaches and apricots. It is generally fuller and more complex than, though not as crisp as, Asti Spumante and is considered to display more finesse than its sibling. 

Moscatos pair well with heavier fish dishes, shellfish and chicken; pork and veal served with spicy or sweet-and-sour sauces; Pacific rim foods from China, Thailand and Vietnam as well as Mexican foods. 

Cheeses that go well with Moscato d'Asti include Asiago, Cabrales, Crescenza, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Monterey Jack, Meunster, Shropshire and Stilton.